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BALL FIVE: Stage set for two championship runs

This could be a special month coming up in my sports world with my favorite NFL team, the Minnesota Vikings, and my favorite college football team, the Oklahoma Sooners, both legitimate contenders for the championship.
The Vikings won their 12th game on Saturday and are the number two seed in the NFC. But their work is not done. To secure the seed, get a first round bye and a home game in the next round they have to beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday. I expect they will, but I suspect the Bears will come in as a team wanting to pull off the upset. The old saying that you can throw away the record when these two teams meet is a truism when two division rivals square off.
You can’t hear about the Vikings without hearing that they can become the first team to ever host the Super Bowl on their home field. It’s one of the feel-good stories in the NFL this year. The NFL could use it. There are too many feel-bad stories associated with the league these days.
All the Vikings have to do is beat two of four teams in the Eagles, Rams, Saints and Panthers. Who they will play and when won’t be determined until Sunday, but it will probably be the Rams who are the three seed. All four are teams very capable of beating the Vikings, but the Purple People Eaters are certainly capable of beating all four teams.
While everyone in Vikingsland is keeping their fingers crossed that quarterback Case Keenum can keep playing like a star, it is the defense that makes this team scary to every team that lines up against them.
I wish I could say I’m all in on the Vikings going to the Super Bowl, but I think we’ll take this one game at a time. The only thing for certain is Vikings rule, Packers drool.
The Sooners have a New Year’s date with the Georgia Bulldogs in the Rose Bowl in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff.
College football did not expect this. When longtime coach Bob Stoops retired in the summer and was replaced by Lincoln Riley, who was 33 at the time and is the youngest head coach in the bigtime college game, most experts thought this would be a nice team, a good team, but not a national title contender.
And then the Baker Mayfield Show started playing every Saturday. The Sooners’ quarterback does two things better than anyone else in game right now; he wins and he has fun. Baker is a polarizing figure who has as many haters as lovers.
Georgia is a really good football team. The other semifinal game pits Clemson and Alabama in last year’s championship rematch. Can the Sooners win the whole thing? I think maybe they can, because, well because the Sooners have Baker Mayfield and the other three teams don’t.